A great, authentic experience! Past Review

By (Pennsylvania State University - University Park / Penn State) - abroad from 01/08/2016 to 04/29/2017 with

Umbra Institute: Perugia - Direct Enrollment in Semester, Summer or Academic Year Programs

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned to be more independent and more confident. My language skills improved (speaking Italian improved not only Italian but also my Spanish). I learned a ton about Italian culture.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Academic rigor is not the focus of study abroad programs and shouldn't be because of the varying intellectual capability of the students from the universities represented. That being said, the classes I took at Umbra would not have been nearly as successful or interesting at any school in the U.S. The classes used Perugia as its main resource, and really enriched my relationship with the city.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Arcadia was very scattered and did things at the last minute that should have been done weeks earlier.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Our apartments were very nice and authentic.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

This was Umbra's strong point in my opinion. The school organized plenty of activities that allowed us to interact with the culture and the locals. Perugia is not a touristy city, which meant that our program was the only group of Americans there. Therefore, I didn't feel like we were in a "bubble" at all.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Umbra had a doctor on hand that would meet you in a private room at the school and charged 50 euro for an appointment. However, she barely spoke any English. I find it hard to believe that there are no other doctors in the area that speak English. Health is too serious a concern to have a language barrier issue.

* Safety:

Perugia was a very safe city. We never felt uncomfortable as long as we weren't walking home alone.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

I would have gone somewhere Spanish-speaking in order to practice a more practical language.


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Perugia is pretty cheap!

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 30 euro per week on groceries; no other necessary expenses
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? If clothes are important to you, pack two suitcases to avoid buying clothes when you feel like you don't have anything to wear. Set a budget, because there is always something to spend money on!


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

The program set up weekly tandem sessions in which we could practice speaking Italian with locals. We also ONLY used Italian in our Italian language class.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Intermediate Italian (IT 003)
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Go to all tandems! Make friends with locals at the University of Perugia!

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Exchange

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Food in the city
  • Being the only Americans there
  • Enrichment/cultural experiences (wine tasting, pizza making workshop, etc.)
* What could be improved?
  • Healthcare
  • the housing staff person
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? It takes forever to get from Perugia to the airport, so traveling outside the country wasted too much time to make a weekend trip worth it. I would have stuck with traveling more inside Italy than I did.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.